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Hands-on Experience: The Thrill of the Letterpress

My English teacher and I recently had a conversation about why she’s choosing to make the midterm a handmade poster rather than a test or electronic project. With students using electronics as a means to get assignments done, she wants to encourage them to take a break from the screen and create a poster; even if it’s something as simple as gluing pictures to poster-board and talking about it, she’ll accept it as long as it’s not a Powerpoint presentation.

While watching the film Pressing On, I couldn’t help but notice the same conversations occurring among small press publishers. Many of them even argued that if more people from my generation were introduced to a letterpress, they would take the opportunity to learn how it works for the exact same reasons.

“Person holding a letterpress roller tool” by Hello I’m Nik. Image found on Unsplash.

We had a letterpress in high school, but I never got the chance to really use it. I did once, but all I really did was pull a lever and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost suddenly appeared on cardstock. All’s that to say is my biggest regret in high school is not taking more chances with learning about the letterpress. I do, however, have some designs from my school’s letterpress hanging in my dorm: one of a rat playing the violin with the caption “Literary Rat” written on the bottom, a poem from a friend’s manuscript, a pink poster with the words “LAVA: IT WILL MELT YOUR FACE OFF” on it (inside joke), and — while I nor the friend who gave it to me are Jewish — a blue dreidel. (Sadly, I was unable to get the poster of a pin-up girl on it that said “Your just my wood type,” which, of course, was made with wood type letters.)

You know how people say no two snowflakes are the same? That also goes for products of the letterpress. It was briefly mentioned in the interview with one of the “letterpressers” that they received positive reviews for the lack of ink on some letters and other imperfections. Their customers quickly stopped them to say they love it because it makes it more real.

The letterpressed I have in my room also have these imperfections, but I find it special because I know the hands that made them. It’s like having a little bit of them with me, even though we’ve all moved on, and if I were to buy from a seller I didn’t personally know, I’d have an equal amount of appreciation because of the time, effort, and planning put into it.

The Reality of Letterpress in Publishing

               The letterpress is a process that has grown outdated in comparison to the fast-paced book production that can be done using a copier and an engineered factory. The ebook threatens the printed codex putting the letterpress in even farther distance as far as mass production is concerned. There is, however, a certain aesthetic quality about the letterpress. Many people agree that there is something about having that physical copy of the book that overshadows the ebook. I personally read print book more readily than any attempt to read over electronics. A letterpress adds more to this materiality that gives a book body and beauty if used in a particular manner. However, the question remains as to if the letterpress will stage a place in publishing in the near future.

               I should note first that when I think of letterpress, I have in mind the indention on the page along with the application of ink. However, Adina Segal quotes Eric Gill: “A print is properly a dent made by pressing; the history of letterpress printing has been the history of the abolition of that dent.” Segal further explains that the contemporary movement has a divide in which some pressers argue that the “kiss” is proper, and others argue that the impression is what makes letterpress distinguishable from litho printing. Further, Sara McNally reports that deep impression potentially damages typeset and machinery. While impressions add to the materiality of book and art, there is reason to use it sparingly, and the question indeed arises for the consumer when using a kiss technique, “What is the aesthetic value?”

Pride and Prejudice
Cover Page of Thorwillow Press editon of Pride and Prejudice. Can you really tell that this is letterpress?

               I think the most attraction to the letterpress for artists and publishers is the activity. There is joy in involving body into the process of creation. There simply isn’t as much satisfaction in digitally printing a work or much less electronically publishing your book. Furthermore, the current market of books shows the disconnection between full length letterpress book producers and consumers shows that letterpress will remain a small niche in book publishing. Consider, a letterpress edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost from The Arion Press. It is sold for a whopping $1,200. A more practical example doesn’t support letterpressing to become more mainstream either. Thornwillow Press sells Pride and Prejudice for $125. Remembering that a “kiss” is indistinguishable from litho printing, letterpress will remain a sparingly used technique, and only those who can enjoy the fine details of letterpress will consume it.

Works Cited

Segal, Adina. “Kiss vs thump.” lettica, Sept. 30, 2016. https://www.lettica.co.uk/blog/kiss-thump-letterpress-debate.html. Accessed Oct. 7, 2021

McNally, Sara. “What’s the deal with impression?” Constellation & Co. Jul. 16, 2013. https://www.constellationco.com/blog/blog/2013/07/whats-the-deal-with-impression. Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

Something Old, Something New: Letterpress Printing Today

            All of the interviewees in “Pressing On: The Letterpress Film” highlighted the importance of the letterpress’ physicality. The letterpress, perhaps unlike the book it produces, engages many of the senses simultaneously. It is rhythmic, it smells of ink, it is tangible, and it is ordered but also creative. One interviewee emphasized that the act of setting letterpress is so physical that it can easily tire you out; even the machines constantly yearn to be active – and were built to be active forever. Another interviewee noted that the familiar process of setting type can be relaxing and a diversion away from a world that usually values mental work above physical work. Letterpress, by contrast, is both physical and mental, yet now most authors and designers have been separated from the process of physical printing.

            This separation removes most of the passion and thoughtful attention to detail that features so prominently within the letterpress world. In the current printing process, for example, we do not generally gravitate towards type that is imperfect. Yet, in letterpress, printers did not repair a dropped piece, but rather continued to use it. The products printed with the dropped letter felt much more real and much more human, as the product could not help but be imperfect and finite. Moreover, the demarcation of author, printer, and product strips the book product of much of its character, aesthetic, and history. There are a multitude of microscopic decisions and actions that lie behind letterpress printing. Indeed, the painstaking process of setting up letterpress demands a letterpress aesthetic that strings all the products of a particular press, such as Hatch Show Press, together. Modern presses lose much of the aesthetic and character that comes from decades of use of a singular printing innovation.

[Image Description: A letterpress printing shop. The room has two red walls visible, and one wall made entirely of windows. Within the room are tables, presses, bookshelves, and a multitude of printing and artistic materials. The room is situated on the first floor in an area that appears urban.]

            As designers and authors are physically separated from the press, especially by the advent of technologies such as the computer and Internet, it becomes easier and more efficient to print any piece of writing. Yet, ease and efficiency are each double-edged swords; they allow for faster, more streamlined dissemination of material, but demolish the history and even community behind the act of printing. As printing moves out of the hands of individuals and into the screens of computers and machines, it becomes all the more difficult – and all the more imperative – to preserve the tight-knit printing community, of which so many of the film’s interviewees spoke. A hidden advantage of the switch to technological printing, however, is the nostalgic urge it produces, creating a reversal as many people flock back to letterpress. Tiger Lily Press in Cincinnati, OH, is one example of a letterpress store that opens its doors to new generations of printing; they offer printmaking classes for every level of printers as well as letterpress goods that perpetuate letterpress’ resurgence within the literary and artistic worlds (see their website, http://tigerlilypress.org/, for more). It is the humanity and physicality of letterpress which attracts new printers to it, and which prevents it from being relegated to the dusting corners of obsolescence.

Works Cited

Fleishman, Glenn. “The Letterpress Shop at SVC.” Glenn Fleishman Writes Words about Things, 25 January 2017, https://glog.glennf.com/blog/2017/1/25/letterpress-printing-a-book-of-my-writing. Accessed 7 October 2021.

Pressing On: The Letterpress Film, 2017, http://www.letterpressfilm.com/. Accessed 7 October 2021.

Tiger Lily Press, 2019, http://tigerlilypress.org/. Accessed 7 October 2021.

Turkish Secrets: A Creative/Critical response

When approaching the concept of an accordion book, I went further and decided to make a book consisting of Turkish folds. In a previous blog post I spoke about how I was wary of making my book too busy, too much for a viewer to realize. The numerous folds and various directions presented by the layout of the pages can sometimes take away from the content of the book. While it may not precisely look like a traditional “book”, my creation absolutely is. It has a form of binding and it has pages, although they are small. The concept of my book originated from the ideology of a zine, but mainly the portion about how it can be circulated easily and transported easily. That being my intent, my Turkish fold book is 4 inches square and about a centimeter tall. It has a slender, black, fabric cover and a relatively sleek, white profile. My intent behind all these details was to create a discreet and unassuming book which didn’t elude much of what it contained.

A view of my book closed and laying flat.

I’ve played with different types of covers in the past and since I was going more untraditional for this project, I kept rolling with that idea. This means I used a different paper than I typically would have. I used bristol board for my pages and glued the sections together using pH balanced glue. For my cover I used two layers of watercolor paper I also glued together, and then wrapped as usual with black book cover fabric. I think this reflects what was available to me, in my academic setting, because while we have a plethora of materials available in our classroom, I’ve played with a lot of them before….but I decided to go on a scavenger hunt and find materials so similar yet different that that of what was provided. On page 62 of The Book by Amaranth Borsuk, Borsuk says the book is a mere vessel for the information it contains, and that is exactly what my book is. When you open my book, the pages can be a bit overwhelming, but I believe that is a part of my book. Instead of me avoiding chaos or trying to reduce it as much as possible, I just went with it.

This is my book opened and laying flat. the front cover is on the right side of the screen. The content begins on the left and is written in English so it should be read from left to right, top to bottom. I labeled each individual diamond to aid with comprehension.

The content on these pages are the lyrics from a song which is important to me. While it may be cheesy to say, this song is extremely important to me. It has to do with betrayal and unfaithfulness and the struggle of living everyday life as the “bigger person” even though you really don’t want to be nice. We’ve all been that person, it doesn’t matter who you are, even if it hasn’t happened since you were a kid, maybe you were forced, but you were the bigger person. This song is about that, all of that. While I do anticipate my audience to be mostly artists, I don’t have a strict outline for what an “artist” is. Just because you’re a science major who dabbles in writing poetry doesn’t disqualify you from being an artist. And vice versa, just because you’re a fantastic painter or whatnot doesn’t mean you have the true mind of an artist….so truth be told, this book could work for any audience. That being said. I still think a younger audience would better enjoy this book. Why? Because of the excessive swearing! Not just that, but the sexual innuendos and the language used, it just is aimed at a younger audience.

Another view of my pages.

A photo displaying the general folded direction of the pages.

The reason I embraced the chaos of this book with the splattered paint and the words scrambled around the pages is because that’s how I feel when I listen to that song. Not only is that how I feel when I listen to that song, but that’s how I felt when I experienced everything this song discusses. One important thing I wish to express is that I did not write this song. I give explicit credit to everyone involved in the writing of the book on the last page.

A Little Look Into a Life

            A little over a week ago, on September 27th, 2021, an online poetry reading of Another Life, a book of poetry written by Daniel Lipara and translated by Robin Myers, was held over Zoom. To be honest, at first, I took the reading as another simple way to draw in extra credit for my class, a tiny measure to get a few points and quickly get out, but after sitting there for even just ten minutes, I quickly realized there was so much more to the reading than I had previously thought. I never truly understood how much work went into creating a book of this stature, small press or otherwise, until I went to the reading (of course, we’ve made a handful of books in our class, but nothing quite like Another Life). 

            The entire meeting was hosted by both Dr. Gil Montero, one of the editors for Eulalia Books, the small press that helped to produce Another Life, and Anna from White Whale Bookstore, a small indie bookstore located in Pittsburgh, PA that is also selling Another Life. Both of them quickly said their piece, explained who they were, and how they came to help in the creation of Another Life, and then they swiftly passed the torch to both Lipara and Myers. Lipara told the story of how he came to writing Another Life, how he was inspired to write it after the death of his mother, to share a piece of his personal family life with the world through his poetry. Myers, then, shared how she came to translating the poetry, how she had to be careful when translating so as to not lose the meaning behind Lipara’s words, to keep the principles that the poetry was written upon. They each took turns reading the poetry, first in Spanish, then in English, before turning back to the audience to answer any questions and receive any comments the audience yearned to share; to say that the audience reception was anything but positive would be a lie. 

A photo of the cover of Another Life. Photo taken from eulaliabooks.com. If you’d like to purchase Another Life you can do so here or here!

Hearing how long it took to make a book of this caliber, how much time went into carefully picking each word of the poem, the precision at which the translation was made, is inspiring in a way. The entire reading was beautiful, and just seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces made attending so worth it. After now making books myself, small as they are, I know what it’s like to be able to hold something you helped to make, to watch your creation slowly come to life, to flip through the pages and be able to say “I did that”; I can only imagine the amount of joy both Daniel and Robin felt as they were able to hold their book for the first time. 

A Little Book of Denial

A Little Book of Denial is quite literally a little book, and its tiny size is perhaps the most telling quality on its meaning. Small as it is, it requires a little more attention—to find, to handle, to inspect—and this extra devotion makes the book feel more intimate. This sort of private character fits with the current, Western expectation of the book as an intimate space, a little world set apart from reality (Borsuk 84). A Little Book of Denial is, essentially, a private world full of “no.” Like a guilty indulgence, this little book hides its negatives in its smallness.

My accordion book, A Little Book of Denial, made of charcoal paper, cardstock, and negation. (Photos by Oli Grogan).

Funnily enough, much of the motivation for the size of A Little Book of Denial came from my hesitation to retrieve materials. There was a large roll of paper available, from which I might have procured a sizable strip of paper, but I did not want to weave my way through the classroom and stand aimlessly about waiting for the optimal moment to hastily—and no doubt clumsily—cut myself a sheet. Instead, I opted to stay at my place and tear a strip of charcoal paper from my stab-binding template (prior to that, I had been experimenting with strips of paper I tore from a notebook). I had initially had some desire to play with creating a small book, but my hesitation to intrude ultimately necessitated the tiny scale. The littleness of A Little Book of Denial is, therefore, a direct result and an explicit expression of my tendency to avoid attention—it is a sort of self-portrait.

A Little Book of Denial does not depart radically from the familiar codex form of book, but the structure does contribute to the book’s meaning. Much like a codex, the covers and the painted back of the accordion seem to contain the text in a little, private box, lending A Little Book of Denial an introversion cohesive with my self-portrait idea. However, as an accordion book, the text could be read in different ways. The “no”s could be displayed all at once, like a chorus, or perhaps a rapid repetition, or else they could be flipped through as if searching for the proper “no” for a delicate situation. It is a “sequence of spaces,” as Ulises Carrión defines a book—spaces containing the “No” we can’t always express, or the “no” we wish we could hear (Borsuk 143).

Work Cited

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. MIT Press, 2018.

My Nature in Stars: A Creative Critical Response

I am, by nature, impulsive. Any planning I may do prior to a project – whether that be personal or for a class assignment – is minimal; I prefer to give myself general guidelines, with room to experiment and explore and just be creative within my constraints. As such, the accordion book I assembled is a testament to my impulsive processes: I knew, ultimately, how I wanted my book to look; I had a grasp of how I would assemble the form and content. However, everything beyond that was impulse, with my choices made solely to further the purpose of my book as an aesthetic object (I am reluctant to call it a “work of art,” for it sounds to pretentious in my mind to refer to my own creation as one). Thus, I would define my accordion book as an artist’s book, perhaps a visual book, with my intended purpose as one of aesthetics, or, as Amaranth Borsuk would describe in The Book, my “impulse [was] to create an original work of art through the accumulation and juxtaposition of [chosen] materials” (115).

[Above: The “front” of my accordion book, displaying the cut-out windows and the text I chose to incorporate. Below: The “back” of my accordion book, displaying the visual content I chose to arrange to show through the windows. Photos by author.]

My book aligns with the typical appearance of an accordion book, with pages folded into an accordion fold, and my book is bound between two covers, a choice made less to denote a “beginning” and “end,” a “front” or a “back,” but more to protect the content inside – physically, yes, but also conceptually, with the two covers acting as unassuming enclosures to safely contain the content and its personal meaning to me. The choice to cut out the phases of the moon, as well as assorted star-like shapes, was the foundation for my whole book; I arranged the content intentionally to show through the cutouts, like little windows into my personality. The content being scraps of colorful tape, torn pages of an old book, postcards and thank-you cards and photo cards, wrappers, stickers, and all manner of small, colorful objects I could collect from within the simple space of my room, as well as text taken from specific songs that have had a particularly strong effect on me throughout the years. From the very first mention of the accordion book project, the concept of my book was “conceived of as a whole” (141).

However, the way in which the content would appear through the windows was not entirely planned – I framed two of the moon phases intentionally, but the rest of the phases, as well as all of the stars, were left up to. . .fate, I suppose? Whatever would show through would only ever be a fraction of the full image, which correlates to how I understand people to see me: Whatever people – me included – understand about me, my personality, is only ever a fraction of my true self. And, though my title, too, was unplanned, I suppose it is serendipitous that “We Are Stars By Nature” was the end result, mirroring the ways in which the nature of my content – and, ultimately, the nature of myself as the author – is revealed through the moon and stars.

This sentiment, the idea that my content reveals something intrinsic about my own nature, is imperative for my intended reader. Though the content may seem silly to some, it is important to me, and I would want my reader to see that through the ways in which I’ve arranged the pieces, as if journaling, and the ways in which those pieces appear through the windows. Truly, then, my book “relied on the viewer’s interaction with the object to make meaning” (145); any interpretations a reader could make about me would be entirely based around how they interact with my book. The text content, too, provides insight into my nature; each line is intentionally and carefully selected to convey an element of myself.

With such considerations, I would say with a finality that my ideal reader is myself, that the purpose of my book is to collect my scattered pieces and display them in such a way that I might be able to better understand who, it is, that I am.

Work Cited

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2018.

Lifelines: A Creative/Critical Response

When making my accordion book, I wanted it to function both as a traditional book and as an artist book. It’s traditional in the way that the accordion folds form pages that can be flipped through the same way one would flip the pages of a textbook, it has a front and back cover, a title, and text and images that make up a story. However, it also functions as an artist book through the way that the content within it is “interrogated and integrated into the way the work makes meaning” (Borsuk 115). The form of the book allows it to be read in a variety of different ways, which can enhance of distract from the overall meaning of the piece. The artist book form serves as a reminder that books are not merely static outlets to share information from. Rather, they can be “a negotiation, a performance, [or] an event” that invites the reader in a way that reminds them of their role in its content (Borsuk 147).

[Top Image] The front side of my accordion book. [Botton Image] The back side of my accordion book. Both pictures taken by author.

The concept behind my book is to explore the themes of connection and relationship through those in my life that are part of my present as well as my past and future. These relationships are represented through a variety of lines, with mine being highlighted in red and the lines of those around me in black. Each line comes from an image of someone who is connected to me in some way: great grandparents, grandparents, parents, sister, cousins, old friends, new friends, and so on. In keeping with the color scheme of the older images of my grandparents and great grandparents I decided to reduce the saturation of the more modern images, which allows my lifeline to stand out more prominently. The redness of my line almost functions as a vein of blood inside the other entanglements evoking a sense of being alive.

A second angle of the book, showing another way it can be read. Photo by author

The content within the accordion book reflects the deeper desires that every person has for connection. Human beings are social creatures, and as such, we long to be close to those around us in some capacity. The themes present within my book seek to capture the chaotic knot of the ever-evolving relationships present within our lives. We are all connected to so many people around us, and the images and text of the book encourages those who read it to contemplate their own lifelines and the paths they have taken.

The form of the accordion book highlights the intimacy and sentiment of the content, which is best expressed when the book is fully expanded to reveal the continuous lifeline that stretches across the entire project, never breaking even when it continues onto the other side. These concepts are further realized by the language of the text which explores the relationship and intimacy the lines convey. Artists books such as my accordion book utilize all the book elements to convey meaning, forcing the reader to redefine their concept of the book. In the chapter “The New Art of Making Books,” Amaranth Borsuk discusses Ulises Carrion’s concept of the “bookwork” as “a conceptual approach to book making, and one that relies on the viewer’s interactions with the object to make meaning” (Borsuk 145). These kinds of artist books “separate the idea of the book from the object,” allowing for a richer interpretation of the content as a whole, which is what the strategic integration of content and form in my book aimed to accomplish (Borsuk 145).

Work Cited

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2018. 

Experiencing Unspoken

One of the covers of my book, Unspoken. Unspoken only has front covers. It can be read from either cover as a starting point.

            “What is a book? A book is an experience. . . . A book starts with an idea. And ends with a reader” (Chen and Meador).

            With so many variations of what we call “book,” it would be next to impossible to argue what a book is. However, Chen and Meador’s conception of book might be a starting point.

            As I set out to accomplish my assignment, the first question I had to answer is “What goes on the pages?” This is the beginning of the experience. As the bookmaker/co-writer/pseudo-publisher, the various elements that I needed to account were both shaped by my ideas and shaped my ideas. One element was settled for me: the book would be in the style of accordion folds. With that settled, I began to contemplate what the accordion could provide in terms of presenting content. Of all the ideas I considered, I found that the accordion folds could communicate something about the way we as people interact with each other. We often keep ourselves closed off, specifically that inner self, but there are opportunities to open our inner most selves. This is the experience I wanted to communicate.

            The next task was to decide on the content. Given the intimacy of revealing the inner self, I wanted the content to invoke emotional responses in the reader. Poetry seems to capture subjective thought and emotion in a way that no other content can. What’s more, I had decided to voice that which goes unsaid. Ulises Carrión reflects on the connection between poetry and print:

            “Poems are songs, the poets repeat. But they don’t sing them. They write them. Poetry is to be said aloud, they repeat. But they don’t say it aloud. They publish it. The fact is, that poetry, as it occurs normally, is written and printed, not sung and spoken, poetry. And with this, poetry has lost nothing. On the contrary, poetry has gained something: a spatial reality that the so loudly lamented sung and spoken poetries lacked” (2-3).

            What other form of communication could so very well capture the intimate and suffering inner self? The decision of content is just as much an experience as that which I want readers to undergo. The small idea I had, that I wanted to communicate the closed off inner self open up, was now being modified by the content I had decided to use. My book, Unspoken, would attempt to communicate the suffering of the victims of suicide. We are always surprised to hear of someone attempting or committing such a tragedy. “They seemed so happy. I never thought i’d be them,” we say. Mellisa Paiz opens her poem reflecting how true this experience is from the other person: “Look into my eyes and tell me what you see, / in front of you, in front of the world, and wherever I go, / I’ll plaster a smile on my face so no one will know.”

A portion of Unspoken. Pictured is an edited copy of “Honestly, I Hate My Life” by Melissa Paiz.

            Turning my attention to the materiality of the book, I needed to reflect these experiences to my audience. To reflect the deception of the outer self, I chose a floral pattern paper for the covers. Flowers also have a communicate aspects of death, but anyone sees Unspoken lying around would likely not expect the subject of the book to reflect on suicide. For the pages, I chose to use black paper for its somber tone. Here is where materiality affected my book in a manner less out of my control. The paper available to me was dimensionally 12” x 15”. To get the most out of the material without too much waste, I used 4”x4” squares as my page dimensions. This affected the font size of my book as well. I didn’t want the book to have a large depth so I chose to limit the pages. I used a yellow background to print my text. The choice of yellow was aesthetic as it matched some of the tones in the floral covering. The material of the book was affected by my idea, but what was available also affected what I chose.

            Creating Unspoken has indeed been an experience. However, the process is incomplete. Until people read Unspoken, the book is incomplete. It is only when other people experience my production it may be called “book.”

The other side of Unspoken features most of “The Moring After I Killed Myself” by Meggie Royer.

Works Cited

Carrión, Ulises. “The New Art of Making Books.” Kontexts, no. 6-7, Center for Book Arts, 1975.

Chen, Julie and Meador Clifton. How Books Work. Flying Fish Press, 2011.

The Journey of an Accordion Book: A Creative and Critical Response

What makes an object a book–well as established by Borsuk, the essence of a book is defined as something beyond the object itself. Most simply, my book takes on a rectangular shape that is bound by a course yellow string that wraps around the off-white fabric cover on each of its sides. When titled from side to side, the reader encounters a definitively rough material that clings to the spine of each bend fastened between the outside hardcovers. When titled another way, the reader can see that the pages contained within this piece are prominent and three-dimensional. Upon opening this book, the reader is welcomed by a diverse array of colors and materials that signify an antique appearance. However, further examination allows the reader to recognize that this object is an accordion book. Borsuk provides a detailed account of the origins of the accordion book, which began in China during the eighth century, and describes how paper’s strength and malleability at the time led to the development of sutra-folded books (p. 36). This technique was then applied to scrolls which were folded back and forth in even widths to create an accordion.

In composing this object–which takes on the form of a book, I found that the purpose of my piece is quite far-reaching. Most simply, this book functions as a representation of the journey of life and my desire to travel the world. I like to think of this piece as unfinished and one of many volumes to come–because the journey of life never has a final destination, and I have so much left to explore. I find in inspiring how Borsuk states that books are fundamentally interactive reading devices who meanings are far from being fixed and arise at the moment of access (Borsuk 147).  

I chose the materials for my accordion book carefully as I wanted my book to illustrate a vintage theme. In composing my accordion book, I used scrapbooking materials and pieces of traveling remnants from some of my most favorite travel adventures. I wanted my book to embody a sense of comfort and familiarity. My book represents a kind of calming and creative conformity that surrounds my life and encompasses my personality.

I imagine the reader of my book to be open-minded, creative, and someone who can envision beyond the words stated on a page. The ideal reader of my book is someone who can interpret the language and style of my piece in a non-conforming way. My book reminds me of a pop-up book much like the one’s Borsuk describes in chapter 3 of The Book. Borsuk says that we see the book’s depth most readily in pop-up books, which unfold to fill each opening with material that pulls itself up off the page (Borsuk 149). My accordion book incorporates many three-dimensional characteristics that are intended to expand ‘off the page’. Moreover, I want my piece to be interpreted in many different ways and explored in many different respects. There is no singular key to understanding my composed accordion book; instead, it is meant to be an exploration of my life that is not “finished” and is intended to be calming and enjoyable. 

Work Cited

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2018.